Is a 45% contigency fee for an employment case too high?

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Is a 45% contigency fee for an employment case too high?

This case will either be mediated or arbitrated and will not go to court due to agreement signed with company. But attorney is asking for a 45% contingency fee.

Asked on May 18, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, a 45% contingency fee seems too high--most contingency fees are more in the 25% - 40% range, with 1/3 (more or less) being a common number. That said, there is no "general" situation--each case or matter is different, and what might be a fair fee depends on many factors, such as the potential size of the recovery. (E.g. getting 45% of $2,000 could be fair, since that's only $900 payment for legal services; but a $200,000 award, it would seem much too high.) You should contact your state bar association; they have units/services that help deal with fee disputes, and it may be possible for that group to provide some parameters on what might be fair given the exact circumstances of your own situation. If they can't or won't help, try the office of the court system that is responsible for attorney licensing and ethics.


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